Polished Stainless Steel - (PSS)
What colour is Polished Stainless Steel?
Polished Stainless Steel is a highly shiny, smooth, mirror like finish with a very slight golden undertone, Polished Stainless Steel is a "soft and warm finish" which is very similar to Polished Nickel.
Are there any other colours similar to Polished Stainless Steel?
Yes, if you can’t find the item you are looking for in Polished Stainless Steel, the next closest finish is Polished Nickel followed by Polished Chrome
Polished Stainless Steel
As you can see from the above images, Polished Stainless Steel has a very slight golden tint. Polished Nickel is a very close match having the same golden undertone, while Polished Chrome has more of a blue undertone.
What is Stainless Steel?
Stainless steel is the universal name for a number of different steels used primarily for their anti-corrosive element. “Stainless” is a term coined early in the development of these steels for cutlery applications. It was adopted as a generic name for these steels and now covers a wide range of steel types and grades for their corrosion or oxidation (rust) resistant applications.
Stainless steel differs from regular carbon based steel by adding the element Chromium. The addition of the element Chromium to regular steel is what gives the stainless steel its corrosion resistant properties. Other alloying elements such as Nickel and Molybdenum can also be added to the steel depending on the type and grade of stainless steel required.
Stainless steels contain sufficient Chromium to form a thin, transparent layer on the surface of the steel. This passive layer of Chromium Oxide protects the surface from corrosion, even if the material is scratched or damaged, as it instantaneously reforms in the presence of oxygen from air or water stopping the corrosion from spreading into the metal's internal structure.
Are there different grades of stainless steel?
Yes, there many different grades of stainless steel available, they vary depending on corrosion resistance and application required.
In the architectural ironmongery world the three most common grades of stainless steel used are:
- Grade 316
- Grade 304
- Grade 430
Grade 316 stainless steel is commonly known as marine grade stainless steel due to its high corrosion resistance. Grade 316 owes its high corrosion resistance to the addition of the element Molybdenum and is suitable for use in aggressive atmospheres such as coastal areas and swimming pools. Grade 316 stainless steel is non-magnetisable
Grade 304 tends to be the most versatile and widely used grades of stainless steel, its chemical composition, mechanical properties, weld-ability and corrosion / oxidation resistance provide the best all-round performance stainless steel at a relatively low cost. Grade 304 is suitable for internal and external use and is non-magnetisable.
Grade 430 has a lower corrosion resistance then the above two grades due to the lower chromium and nickel content in the steel thus making it cheaper to produce. Grade 430 is still more then suitable and corrosion resistant for internal or external use, but when fitted externally may require more regular cleaning to remove dirt and water marks from the surface of the material to help prevent small signs of oxidation forming. Grade 430 is easily distinguishable from 304 and 316 as it is magnetisable.
How is the Polished finish produced?
The raw unfinished stainless steel is sent through a polishing machine to be polished. This process highly buffs the stainless steel giving it a smooth mirror like shine. Polished Stainless Steel is not a plated or an applied finish it is simply a highly polished raw material.
Are all Polished Stainless Steel items the same colour?
Yes, all Polished Stainless Steel products will be the same colour.
Are Polished Stainless Steel products suitable for outside use?
Yes, as we mentioned before stainless steel is protected from corrosion by a thin layer of Chromium Oxide. Oxygen from the atmosphere combines with the chromium in the stainless steel to form a passive Chromium Oxide film. When the stainless steel is scratched the Oxygen and Chromium react again to re-seal the protective layer and protect the stainless steel from further corrosion. This protective film makes stainless steel products ideal for outside use where they will be exposed to the wind, rain and general dirt.
However, there are deposits especially in the outside air which can influence the corrosion resistance (e.g. marine atmospheres, industrial pollution, salt spray from road de-icing salt, atmospheric dirt and acid rain). These deposits if left on the surface of the stainless steel and are not cleaned off can start to break down small areas of the “self-healing” protective layer, affecting the corrosion resistance. If left long enough they can even result in very small areas of rust to start forming.
Thus some form of routine cleaning is necessary to preserve the appearance and integrity of the surface. Stainless steels are easily cleaned by many different methods. They actually thrive with frequent cleaning and, unlike some other materials, it is impossible to 'wear out' stainless steel by excessive cleaning. Stainless Steel performs best when clean - cleanliness is essential for maximum resistance to corrosion.
How to clean and maintain Polished Stainless Steel products?
Particularly for stainless steel items fitted externally, surfaces should be wiped over with a clean cloth and warm water with a mild detergent, on a frequent and routine basis to remove any dirt and deposits that may have built up over time.
Carbon steel brushes and steel wool should be avoided as they may leave particles embedded in the surface, which can lead to rusting.
For stainless steel items fitted in harsh or exposed environments we sell a stainless steel cleaner, that helps removes dirt and deposits, as well as helping to maintain the protective layer of Chromium Oxide on the surface of the stainless steel.
Regular cleaning will keep the appearance of the stainless steel looking as good as new and will help keep the corrosion resistance of stainless steel in an excellent condition.
Which companies supply Polished Stainless Steel products?
Although not quite as common or popular as Satin Stainless steel, lots of the manufacturers we deal with supply Polished Stainless Steel products. The companies that have a very good selection of Polished Stainless Steel items include:
- Karcher Design
- Frelan Hardware
- M Macrus
- Zoo Hardware
- Excel Architectural Hardware
What products are available in Polished Stainless Steel?
- Door handles
- Door knobs
- Front door furniture
- Locks and latches
- Window fittings
- Pull handles
- Kick plates
- Finger plates